Open Mic Session Brings Out Diverse Talent in BC Students

Nov. 9, 2010

From beat-boxing and sweetly sung guitar songs to poems about engagements, hummus and the curious way in which the Vietnamese kiss, Brooklyn College students shared their talents in early November at the biannual English Majors’ Open Mic.

Despite the pouring rain, some 100 rapt students packed the Woody Tanger Auditorium, snapping in unison when a performer would forget their lines or mumbling audible “hmms” when it was appropriate to ponder the subliminal.

The powwow—open not only to English majors, but to anyone who wishes to attend or perform—has been held each fall and spring semester since 1998. This most recent session was, by many accounts, one of the best ones yet.

“I just enjoy the enthusiasm, the range, the love,” said Roni Natov, professor and deputy counselor in the English Department. She has coordinated the sessions each semester ever since a group of her interns lamented that some of the city’s famous open mic nights were too competitive. “This really celebrates the range and diversity of our students, and the sessions get better and better each time.”

For sophomore Sarah-Meira Rosenberg, this was her first time at Open Mic. She came simply because she was curious. “I was pleasantly surprised at the level of talent. I thought that if anyone can perform, then who knows what to expect.”

The level of talent also impressed Brian Ghezedaiagh, a freshman and psychology major who came because he was fulfilling a requirement for his Macaulay Honors College seminar. “A lot of people gave a lot of thought to their art,” he said, noting that he may come back and perform next time.

Aleeza Chanowitz, a senior Judaic studies major who wrote and performed the aforementioned poem about hummus, also came to satisfy a requirement for her class on poetry and performance. “Some of the poetry was really good. With some, you had to work a little harder to understand where the artist was coming from,” she said. “But that’s poetry, right?”

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